I've been having a great time doing Indian Ink, and pen drawings, on pages from vintage books. I began by sacrificing a few poetry books of my own. All of my own collection are between 100 and 150 years old...so using more than 2 was too painful. I found one book at a thrift stores, but my best finds were found on Ebay.
I had been trying to find a book in French for the longest time. Then this popped upon Ebay. What could be better?! Les Miserables by Victor Hugo in French!! Here is one of the paintings I have done so far with the French text:
This edition of Les Miserables was published in 1925. I found the pages are more porous than the others, absorbing more liquid than the other book's papers which have a slight sheen to them. I really do think they made books SO much better in the olden days.
French text is so beautiful! I've also purchased book pages on Etsy that are from books of different languages for another project I am wanting to do soon!
Some of the Old Textbooks from 1877 - 1888
One of the poetry books from my collection that has all the classics published in 1903. It's pages are 4 x 6 inches and has a nice sheen!
My two favorite book pages to use are from Lucille with it's large 9.5 x 6 inch pages, with a sturdy page published in 1890, and Girls Who Became Famous published in 1886 ( which has the nicest pages to work on)
This painting is titled "Difficult Lessons" ~ When the painting is finished, and after it's been put away for a while, I chose a title out of the hidden text. Something intriquing that fits the mood of the piece.
I don't plan out my paintings. I am surrounded by all sorts of mediums. I have the choice of Indian ink which is waterproof, and I either use a small brush or bamboo pen. Or else I use a waterproof ink pen... Sometimes I paint directly onto the virgin page, but most often I brush gesso on it first so that the text shows through but the paper is more durable to accept all kinds of media. Then I would draw or paint in ink. After that I might use Winsor Newton watercolors, Sennelier watercolors, Derwent watercolor pencils, and/or WN Finity acrylics. I haven't yet, but I will be experimenting with pastels and charcoal soon. I just keep working until it feels finished, or else put it away for a while and work on or start another painting.
I've also purchased through Ebay two music books from the 1920's. Again I plan to use the pages for painting and also collage work. I am overwhelmed with so many ideas for so many projects at the same time. There is hardly any time for myself that doesn't involve someone (or some crazy puppy) running through my studio.